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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

1972 Solar Flare Caused Naval Mines to Explode

There are reports out this morning that a big solar flare in 1972 caused naval mines placed by the U.S. off the coast of Vietnam to explode.  

https://www.livescience.com/64062-mines-solar-storm-1972-vietnam.html

https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/11/12/1972-solar-storm-triggered-vietnam-war-mystery

Background info: 

https://oraprdnt.uqtr.uquebec.ca/pls/public/docs/GSC418/F1929448428_Solar_Superstorm__Astronomy_Sept_2008.pdf

I remember this solar event.  It caused aurora near New York City: 

https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2009/09/carrington-flares-aurora-where-were-you.html

Monday, November 12, 2018

Getting Ready for Farhan's Satellite (videos)



I've been getting ready for the November 24 launch of the CubeSat that Farhan and his friends in India built.  I started out with my trusty Drake 2-B and a Hamtronics 2-to-10 downconverter, but I quickly switched to an RTL-SDR dongle and HD-SDR software.   My 3 element quad antenna is visible in the first video.   So far, I am using the Armstrong method to turn the antenna. 

In that first video I keep saying that I am waiting for AO-71.   In fact is was AO-73, the "FunCube" from the UK.   I think it is similar in power and antenna configuration to Farhan's satellite, so I think we are almost ready for launch.

(Any ideas on what that mysterious pulsating sig in the satellite passband signal is in the first video?)     

Monday, November 5, 2018

Pete N6QW Rejuvenates the Atlas Twins with an Arduino and an Si5351



Pete Juliano N6QW has turned his attention to the Atlas Twins, a nice single conversion multiband rig. Pete has used an Arduino/Si5351 to replace the analog oscillators in the old Atlas.  This improves stability and allows for USB/LSB operation.  

Pete very graciously kept the old analog circuitry in the rig, allowing the Atlas to be returned to its pristine analog state at some time in the future. Pete also made some very kind comments about the surprising stability of the original  analog oscillator circuitry.  

Check out Pete' site for more details: 

http://n6qw.blogspot.com/2018/11/2018-year-of-ssb-transceivers.html

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Oliver Heaviside

Image result for Oliver Heaviside
In the last SolderSmoke podcast we took a look at some of the giants of radio.   Here is one fellow we missed:  Oliver Heaviside.  Hackaday has an interesting profile of him: 

https://hackaday.com/2018/10/30/oliver-heaviside-rags-to-recognition-to-madness/#more-330784

Like many of the giants we looked at, Oliver definitely had his problems, and didn't end well.  But he deserves a lot of respect and credit for his many innovations and discoveries.   I didn't know that he is the one responsible for those 88 mH coils in my junk box.  
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